The parliament of the Basque region in Spain has approved a proposal for a referendum on self-determination to be held in October. It is the brainchild of the head of the region, Juan Jose Ibarretxe.
The referendum would ask the citizens of the region their opinion on peace negotiations with separatist rebel group ETA, and on the independence of the Basque people.
But many political analysts say Ibarretxe’s plan, coming as it does after the breakdown in 2005 of a proposal for a free association with Madrid, is unconstitutional.
On this basis, Spain’s government has already announced it is taking steps to ensure the vote will not take place.